National Technical Information Service

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National Technical Information Service (NTIS)
National Technical Information Service logo.jpg
Agency overview
Formed1945; 76 years ago (1945) (as Publication Board),
became Commerce's Clearinghouse for Federal Scientific and Technical Information (CFSTI) 1964, National Technical Information Service (NTIS) 1970[1]
HeadquartersAlexandria, Virginia, United States[2]
38°49′14″N 77°3′2″W / 38.82056°N 77.05056°W / 38.82056; -77.05056
Annual budgetFee-based, no federal appropriations[3]
Agency executives
  • Greg Capella (acting), Director of NTIS[4]
  • Greg Capella, Deputy Director of NTIS[4]
Parent agencyDepartment of Commerce

The National Technical Information Service[5][6] (NTIS) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The primary mission of NTIS is to collect and organize scientific, technical, engineering, and business information generated by U.S. Government-sponsored research and development, for private industry, government, academia, and the public. The systems, equipment, financial structure, and specialized staff skills that NTIS maintains to undertake its primary mission allow it to provide assistance to other agencies requiring such specialized resources.


Under the provisions of the National Technical Information Act of 1988 (15 U.S.C. 3704b),[7] NTIS is authorized to establish and maintain a permanent repository of non-classified scientific, technical, and engineering information; cooperate and coordinate its operations with other Government scientific, technical, and engineering information programs; and implement new methods or media for the dissemination of scientific, technical, and engineering information, including producing and disseminating information products in electronic format and to enter into arrangements necessary for the conduct of its business.

NTIS serves the United States as a central repository for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information to assure businesses, libraries, academia, and the public timely access to approximately 2.5 million publications covering over 350 subject areas. The stated aim of NTIS is to support the Department of Commerce mission to promote the nation's economic growth by providing access to information that stimulates innovation and discovery. (Public Law 102-245, Section 108 American Technology Preeminence Act of 1991).

Additionally, NTIS acts as the federal government's IT provider and consultant, helping agencies analyze, manage, and implement scalable data solutions by leveraging its extensive network of technical talent from private industry.[8]


Containing over 3 million bibliographic records, the NTIS content collection is a significant resource for accessing the latest research sponsored by the United States and select foreign governments. The collection represents the technical results of billions of dollars the U.S. Government allocates for scientific research. The contents of the collection include research reports, computer products, software, and more. The complete electronic file dates back to 1964. On average, NTIS has added over 30,000 new records per year to the collection over the past ten years. Most records include meta-data. It also contains a comprehensive collection of nuclear research, beginning with the Manhattan project, and the latest government sponsored research. NTIS covers a wide spectrum of subject areas with 39 Major Subject Categories and 375 Sub-categories.


NTIS operations includes the acquisition and archiving in perpetuity of scientific and technical information. This information is freely available at no charge, by law. The cost of operating the site, however, must also by law be recovered from those using the site for anything beyond raw data access. Since users may wish to spend minutes or hours, using search tools, rather than months and years plowing through the large amount of free data, there is a cost-recovery fee for use of the search tools.[5]

NTIS also provides technical support solutions to other Federal Government Agencies. These Lines of Business include:

  • Shipping & Fulfillment Services[9]
  • e-Training Services[10] NTIS is an OPM-approved eTraining Service Provider
  • Federal Energy Data Management[11] Mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005
  • Government Web Hosting[12]
  • Scanning, Digitization & Electronic Archive Services[13] NTIS currently working with the Social Security Administration, National Science Foundation, Internal Revenue Service, and other Federal Agencies
  • Other Support solutions[14] Includes Electronic & Multimedia Services, Email Broadcast & Fax Management, Billing & Collections Services, and more


National Technical Reports Library logo.jpg

In 2008, NTIS recognized the need to provide subscription-based access to the collection using an online platform. Incrementally in 2009 and 2012, National Technical Reports Library (NTRS). Federal Science Repository Service (FTRS) followed V3 of NTRL.[15]

NTIS has been working with Public.Resource.Org to digitize videos and to post content on YouTube.[16]

Statutory authorities[edit]

NTIS' basic authority to operate a permanent clearinghouse of scientific and technical information is codified as chapter 23 of Title 15 of the United States Code (15 U.S.C. 1151-1157). This chapter also established NTIS' authority to charge fees for its products and services and to recover all costs through such fees "to the extent feasible."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Technical Reports and Standards". Library of Congress. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "About Us". National Technical Information Service. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  3. ^ United States Department of Commerce. NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE FISCAL YEAR 2021 BUDGET SUBMISSION TO CONGRESS (PDF) (Report). United States Department of Commerce. p. 201. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Leadership". United States Department of Commerce. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Jeri Clausing (May 17, 1999). "Government Halts New Search Service". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "U.S. to Offer Search Service That Links Its On-Line Sites". The New York Times. May 17, 1999.
  7. ^ 15 USC § 3704b - National Technical Information Service | Title 15 - Commerce and Trade | U.S. Code | LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  8. ^ "We Help Federal Agencies put their Data to Work". National Technical Information Service. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
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Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Government.(Dept. of Commerce)

External links[edit]